Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Notes on various movies 

For a variety of reasons, I've been watching many more movies than I've been able to write about. Rather than let this backlog become an excuse to not write any more, I'm going to just do away with all of the ones that come to mind with quick little blurbs so I catch up before my memory fades entirely.

One of Claire's friends pointed out that this movie is basically "Swingers for aging blue-staters." I think that's right on. It was funny, and it had a lot of good things to recommend it. I especially liked Paul Giamatti's performance. The downside is that it was a bit too long, and wasn't always entertaining me. Overall, good but not a must-see.

Ocean's 12
Another casual movie from an artist. It's good fun, and has a very different pacing than the first movie, with a twistier plot. The main heist is about as nonsensical as the first movie's was, and that makes it another cop-out in my book. This movie is so light that immediately afterwards, while leaving the theater, I attempted to explain a segment of the plot that Claire slept through, and found I just couldn't remember it.

This movie is uneven. That's the best word to describe it, I think. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and there you have...Spanglish.

A Very Long Engagement
The brilliant Jean-Pierre Jeunet rounds up the usual gang and makes great film-making look easy once again. I didn't realize that the plot is basically structured as a mystery, and it's very interesting. I had a bit of a hard time keeping up with all the characters, probably due to the fact that it's subtitled (and all those dirty French World War I soldiers look basically the same in the trenches). Probably needs more viewings for me to fully pick up all of the character connections.

Meet the Fockers
Surprise: It's nowhere near as good as the original. The jokes are all telegraphed way ahead of time and involve contrived situations. It manages to squeeze out a few laughs, with some effort, but they're not great laughs. Ben Stiller's character no longer seems to smoke, and there's some convoluted reason that Robert DeNiro's character is basically raising his other daughter's baby son so that the movie can have some baby humor. He feeds the baby with a synthetic breast with working nipple that he has fashioned, if that gives you any idea how coherent the movie is.

Powerful, well-written, and well-acted. I thought Mike Nichols did a good job, but not a movie I'm eager to see again soon. Obviously, it's depressing.

Before Sunset
This movie is similar to Closer, it has just two characters, and the entire movie is talking about feelings and stuff. I liked this one a lot better, though (and I thought I'd hate it going in). I hadn't seen the predecessor, Before Sunrise, but I don't feel that that hurt the experience much, if at all. Ethan Hawke looks like a dork.

oceans twelve has julia roberts, and i refuse to see any other films that has that contrived and hackneyed bitch in them.

sandler finally makes a film that doesn't involve the same old dumbass jokes or played out comedy, yet it ends up being a chick flick. at least, that is what i have heard from people.

i didn't like meet the parents. i doubt i would like meet the fockers any better.

i will have to check out a very long engagement though. sounds good.
Aging blue-staters? What does that mean? People who loved The Big Chill and voted Kerry?
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